When I was younger there was always a row of recycled glass jars sitting on the windowsill in our kitchen. Each jar contained 3 or 4 toothpicks holding a pit and lots of roots sprouting in the water. At times, my mother’s green thumb even produced a few 3 foot plants. But what I remember most was being told it takes 60 years for these plants to bear fruit. As a young child, this freaked me out; I was always doing the math, thinking if I was going to be too old to ever see it flourish. Needless to say, in my young adulthood I researched the facts; homegrown avocado plants usually don’t produce fruit , one needs to graft the seedling for fruit to grow and that takes 5-13 years. My mother’s plants usually died, but she was determined, and those recycled glass bowls, whether dried out or filled with roots, remained on the windowsill year after year.
When my kids were little, I was always searching for that perfect lunch. What could I put in their lunch box which would not be returned to me in the afternoon? For each child it was a different challenge: this one didn’t eat bread, this one ate bread but only whole wheat, and this one would eat bread but no crust. The list of variations and challenges went on and on. For a while there, I was lucky and one child loved Morningstar chicken nuggets—phew, fabulous and easy. Another only wanted tuna fish on lightly toasted bread with lettuce and tomato and crust taken off. It kind of reminds me of the childhood song…”Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us; all we want is that you give us something to eat. We don’t want your yucky food; we just want food that’s good…” Now everyone in my house is older, lunchroom cafeterias are a thing of the past. Yet, the question still remains, “What should I take for lunch?”
Summer is a time for playing outside, riding bikes, jumping in the pool, and of course fresh berry and vegetable picking.
For most of my life, my family’s standard Friday night Shabbat meal has been somewhat traditional with a modern flair; homemade challah, chicken soup with matzo balls, roasted chicken, broccoli, kugel, salad, and scrumptious desserts. Without sounding too forward, I am a pretty good cook and always like to try new recipes.